Friday, July 13, 2018

Save Your Bottles

You know me—I’ll never throw anything away if there’s a way to reinvent it, especially if it can come in handy around the yard and garden. Whether it’s coffee cans, panty hose, paper clips, or old hoses, I just can’t seem to get rid of those things.

For instance, before you throw out that empty bottle of liquid laundry detergent, bleach, or fabric softener, STOP! Otherwise, you’d be tossing one of the handiest outdoor helpers you could ask for: a big, sturdy plastic bottle. Here’s how you can put ‘em to work in your yard and garden:
  • Deep irrigation system. Poke small holes in the bottoms and sides of the bottles, bury them in the soil around your garden, and fill them with water. The moisture will flow out at a slow rate, directly to the plants’ roots, where it’s needed most. 
  • Garden-tool caddy. Make a big hole in a giant bottle on the side opposite the handle. Then insert your trowel, pruning shears, and other small hand tools through the hole to carry them wherever they’re needed. 
  • Plant labels. Cut the sides of white or yellow bottles into strips, write on them with an indelible marker, and shove the strips into the soil next to the appropriate plants. 
  • Scoop. Cut diagonally across the bottom, screw the top back on, and use it to scoop up sand, fertilizer, compost, cat litter, or just about any other nonedible substance. 
  • Watering can. Drill a dozen holes in the cap of a giant bottle. Fill the bottle with water, and screw the top back on. To water your plants, flip the bottle upside down, and let the H2O flow! 
And, as unlikely as it might seem, a few potent laundry and cleaning products can actually help ease some of the most common—and uncomfortable—outdoor mishaps. Here’s a quick-cure rundown:
  • Bee stings. After scraping out the stinger, dab a few drops of bluing onto the spot, and—bingo!—instant relief! 
  • Fire-ant bites. Douse the flames by dabbing the area with a half-and-half solution of bleach and water. If it’s applied within 15 minutes of the bite, it’ll ease the pain and swelling. (But if the pain is severe, or spreads beyond the bitten spot, hightail it to the closest doctor.) 
  • Mosquito bites. Nix the itch and swelling by dabbing the spot with a few drops of ammonia. Act fast, though, before you start scratching. If you apply ammonia to broken skin, the sting will feel a whole lot worse than the skeeter’s bite! 
  • Poison ivy. Relieve the pain and itch by patting the nasty red blotches with a solution consisting of a teaspoon or so of bleach per quart of water. 
  • Rash. Grab a can of spray starch, and spritz that itch goodbye! 
Some folks may think I’m a little crazy when I tell them my best outdoor tips use supermarket “stuff” like detergent bottles, bleach, aspirin, hot pepper sauce, or even beer. But they stop shakin’ their heads and really start believing when they see the remarkable results!

Best yet, you’ll get ‘em all when you check out my blockbuster, bestselling book Supermarket Super Gardens. And it’s yours—FREE—for a Special 21-Day Preview!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Easy Egg Problem Solvers

Did you know that eggs and eggshells can help you grow lusher lawns and greener gardens? Just see our tips below! They may sound funny, but just wait ‘til you see what they can do!
  • Make your soil more alkaline with ground eggshells! This allows plants to absorb its nutrients more easily.
  • Boost your compost pile by tossing in nitrogen-rich eggshells.
  • Fend off blossom-end rot that attacks your squash, tomatoes, peppers, or watermelon crops: First, give them a dose of organic mulch, and then, each time you water, press a handful of ground eggshells into the soil around each plant.
  • End your fly frustrations by beating 1 egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of molasses and a pinch of black pepper. Pour the mixture into jar lids or shallow cans, and set them around your house. The flies will fly in, and they won’t take off again.
  • Teach dilly-dallying deer to leave your trees and shrubs alone: Puree 2 tbsp. of ground cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp. of hot pepper sauce, 2 eggs, and 2 cloves of garlic, and 2 cups of water in a blender. Let it sit for two days. Then pour it around your plants, or apply it with a handheld sprayer.
Empty egg cartons also come in handy! Check out these nifty tricks:
  • Start seeds: Fill an egg carton with starter mix, and plant your seeds according to the packet directions. At transplant time, cut the carton sections apart and put ‘em in the ground.
  • Start your spuds indoors, where they are more likely to sprout. Empty paper egg cartons make the perfect starter pots.
  • Cool your sunburn: Separate the top and bottom halves of a plastic egg carton and pour milk into each compartment. Pop the sections into the freezer, and whenever you need relief from sunburn, pull out a “milksicle” and rub it over the affected skin.
Check out our bestselling book, Supermarket Super Gardens, for more helpful garden hints. You can even try it FREE with our 21-Day Free Preview!

Friday, June 01, 2018

Foil Garden Pests

You may think aluminum foil is just a handy kitchen product. But it's actually one of the best outdoor tools against pesky pests, as well! Here’s how to put it to work:

Keep out cats. Fill empty 2-liter bottles halfway with water. Add a tiny bit of bleach to prevent algae from growing, and drop 3 long strips of foil into each one. Set the bottles around any areas of your yard you want to protect from unwanted visitors.
Repel birds, rabbits, and raccoons with a flashing fence. Pound stakes into the soil at 3- to 4-foot intervals all around your garden, and run twine between them. Cut aluminum foil into strips that are about 1 inch wide and about 5 inches long, and tape the strips to the twine, spaced out from each other by a foot or so.
Fend off cutworms, which commonly attack young plants, by wrapping foil loosely around the stems of any delicate seedlings. The foil should extend about 2 inches below the ground and 3 inches above. When the stems of your plants reach about ½ inch in diameter and are too thick for cutworms to damage, remove the foil.
Deter flying insects by placing several pieces of aluminum foil on the soil around any plants you want to protect. The reflecting light will confuse the bugs so that they can’t land. Just make sure to poke a few holes in the foil so that water can still reach your plants’ roots.
Stop snails and slugs. These troublemakers will snack on just about any kind of plant under the sun! To keep 'em from munching, simply wrap the base of each plant that you want to protect in a 1-inch piece (or larger, if you’d like) of foil. They'll keep right on movin'.

For more critter-busting quick-tricks, check out our bestselling book, Critter Control & Pest Prevention. You can even try it out FREE for a full 21 days with our Free Preview!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dandelions are Delicious

You might think that dandelions are nothing but pesky weeds. But having a patch of those flowers growing in your yard is like having a goldmine right on your doorstep! In fact, as long as your lawn isn’t chemically treated*, you can eat every part of a dandelion plant—and it can be especially effective against indigestion, kidney, and liver problems. Try tossing young dandelion leaves in salads, steam them, or whip up one of these tasty beverages:

Dandelion Tea. Boil 2 teaspoons of fresh, chopped dandelion roots and leaves with ½ cup of spring water in a pan. Remove the pan from the heat, let the liquid steep for 15 minutes, and strain before drinking. Make a cup two or three times a day.

Dandy Dandelion Wine. Mix the juice and rinds of 4 lemons and 4 oranges with a gallon bucketful of dandelion blooms (no stems) and 2 gallons of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue boiling for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, and let it sit for 24 hours. Then strain the mixture into a large glass jar, and stir in eight cups of sugar and 1 package of baker’s yeast. Cover the container, and leave it in a cool, dark place for two weeks. Then strain again before serving.

For more delicious, dandy recipes to boost your health and well-being, check out our bestselling book, Grow Younger, Live Longer! You can even try it out for 21 days with our Free Preview.

*Be sure to only use dandelions from unsprayed lawns. Always rinse dandelion plants before consuming or adding to any recipes.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Got Allergies?

This spring’s pollen count is bringing misery to allergy sufferers around the country—so it’s time to take a stand! Check out these quick-fix solutions: 
  • If a bowl of hot-and-sour soup or a dish of spicy chili doesn’t clear your stuffy nose, probably nothing will. Spicy, hot food clears out blocked nasal passages and loosens mucus.
  • Horseradish clears passages from the nose right up into the sinuses. This is a powerful potion that’s best taken raw: Just grate some horseradish into a glass of tomato juice, mix it up with your favorite salsa, or eat it right off the stalk!
  • Use eucalyptus soap in your daily shower. The scent and hot steam will open your clogged nasal passages.
  • Soak a washcloth in the hottest water you can stand, wring it out, and lay it across your nose and sinuses for a while. If you keep the cloth as hot as you can, it’ll loosen and liquefy mucus. 
For even more healthy hints that’ll have you feelin’ fine in no time, check out our bestselling book, Top 25 Homemade Healers. You can even try it FREE for 21 days with our Free Preview!

Friday, May 11, 2018

An Afternoon Snack for Your Yard

Your kitchen is full of green thumb magic that’s just waiting to be unleashed! For starters, check out these fast food fixes that will help get your garden in tip-top shape: 

Apple juice. If your lawn is looking spotty or lighter in color, pay attention—it’s begging for food! So give it a hearty meal of this down-home fertilizer, then stand back and watch it grow: In a large bucket, mix 1 can of beer, 1 can of cola (not diet), 1 cup of apple juice, 1 cup of lemon-scented dishwashing liquid, 1 cup of ammonia, and 1 cup of all-purpose plant food (15-30-15 is good). Pour 1 quart of the mix into a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, and apply it to everything in your yard to the point of runoff. Repeat every three weeks during the growing season, and you’ll see fantastic results! 

Muffin cups. After you’ve used paper muffin cups for their intended purpose of baking, you can still put them to work in your garden. Just toss ‘em into the compost bin or bury them in the soil, muffin crumbs and all. In no time, they will decompose into plant-pleasing snacks.

Peanut butter. You’ll love making these treats—and your fine-feathered friends will love eating them! Simply mix peanut butter with enough whole-wheat flour to form a dough. Shape the dough into baseball-sized mounds, and freeze them. When you're ready to hang one in the yard, cut a section from a mesh produce bag, and wrap it around the frozen sphere. Tie the bag closed, and hang it from a sturdy tree branch. You'll have a blast watching the birds flock to your yard!

For more fun tips and tricks using common kitchen products, check out our bestselling book, Supermarket Super Gardens. You can even try it out for a full 21 days with our Free Preview!

Friday, May 04, 2018

Potted Plants on the Job

Container gardening is becoming more and more popular every year. And did you know that some plants actually perform better when planted that way? It's true! Plus, here are five more great reasons to give plants in pots a shot:

The Right Soil. You can amend the potting mix to suit the needs of any potted plant—which is not always possible to do in your outdoor garden.
Protection. Plants in containers are safe from most of the soil-borne pests and diseases that thrive in open ground.
Boundaries. Some plants can take over an entire garden in a single season when planted in the ground. Pots or planter boxes will help to restrict their growth safely.
Weather. Containers enable you to grow plants that could never survive in your in-ground garden. When the weather turns too hot or too cold, all you need to do is whisk both plant and pot indoors.
Visual Appeal. No matter how well you tend to your garden, you will be faced with empty spots now and then. When your garden starts to look sparse, just liven up your scene with potted annuals or bulbs!

For more great garden grow-how, check out our bestselling book, Green Thumb Magic. You can even try it out for FREE for a full 21 days with our exclusive Free Preview!